Living & Coping

Day 83: It started today: hair loss. I broke down in tears – a much-needed emotional release – but now I don’t plan to cry about it anymore.

Hair loss from chemotherapyI knew it was coming. I thought I had prepared myself for this part of the experience, but as I stood there removing my ponytail holder, watching as it took a huge clump of my hair with it, I just broke down in tears.

I pulled myself together, but the situation got worse in the shower. Every time I ran my fingers through my hair, more huge clumps came out.

I cried some more, even though I had told myself I wouldn't.

The fact of the matter is this: even though I know many people have been through hair loss from cancer treatment, in that moment when it was happening to me, I felt like it was a nightmare all my own. But then my dear colleague and friend Scott reminded me that this is all just part of my journey back to good health. Thank you for helping me regain my perspective, Scott! Many thanks as well to my mom, my boyfriend and to my best friend for helping me get through my mini-meltdown this morning. With the words of love and encouragement they gave me, I've stopped the water works, and I’m ready to bring on the bald.

I also wanted to share what I would call a little slice of sunshine that I experienced last Saturday morning, as I was finally starting to feel better. I heard Carole King’s song, "Beautiful" in a movie, and I was reminded how much I love the opening lyrics, which are about expressing your inner beauty – that if you smile, show love and treat people well, you’ll create a more beautiful world and a more beautiful you.

I love those lyrics so much – the whole song just fills me with joy and happiness. As I listened to it, I noticed I was happier in that moment than I've been in quite a while. I had so much appreciation for just “the moment.” I think that’s worth sharing because living in the moment is something I will take from this journey and apply every day for the rest of my life. If you’re reading this, I hope you will, too.

In other words, here’s my advice for today: find time for what makes you feel good, and savor those moments…truly pay attention and let the feel-goodness of it all surround you. Trust me, you’ll be a happier, healthier person because of it.

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It's Happening: Hair Loss

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